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Small business confidence hits six-month high


August 30, 2013
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Aug. 30, 2013, Toronto — Small business confidence continued to increase in August, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

The CFIB's Business Barometer Index measures how small business owners expect their businesses to perform in the next year. In August, the index rose 1.7 points to 65.9, its highest mark since February.

"Once again, increased confidence among Ontario entrepreneurs has powered the national average, although the index numbers are up in seven of the 10 provinces," said Ted Mallett, CFIB's chief economist and vice-president. "So far, the summer is shaping up to be considerably better than the spring for small business owners."

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Entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan (70.7) are the most optimistic in Canada, with Newfoundland and Labrador (70.4) a close second, followed by Alberta (69.5), Ontario (67.8) and British Columbia (66.3).

Quebec (59.0), New Brunswick (58.5), Nova Scotia (58.0) and Manitoba (57.6) are below the national average, while Prince Edward Island (50.0) is at the back of the pack.

"August has been a pretty good month for businesses engaged in agriculture, manufacturing, retail, professional services and hospitality," added Mallett. "On the other hand, we're seeing uneven or weak outlooks for construction and transportation."

Measured on a scale from zero to 100, an index level above 50 means owners expecting their businesses' performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance.

Past results indicate that index levels normally range between 65 and 70 when the economy is growing at its potential.

The August findings are based on 1,018 responses collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members with controlled access to a web survey. Findings are statistically accurate to +/-3.1 per cent, 19 times in 20.


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